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Star Citizen developer calls ray tracing "a massive headache"

Over on the friendly Star Citizen forums, a player of the space sim asked, "Do you, as I, believe that RTX tech will save you devs so much work farther along and look absolutely spanking?"

Ray tracing is the tech everyone's talking about, whether it's Nvidia planning to literally write the book on it or Battlefield 5 players trying to figure out if they can even see it. Meanwhile, if you want to see how it looks in Metro Exodus, here you go.

Cloud Imperium developer Ben Parry initially responded to the question in the negative. "Not in the slightest", he wrote. "I expect, if we use it, it'll be a massive headache and time-sink but might give us some subtle improvements in looks or performance if we get it right."

He followed up by clarifying exactly what he means by headache: "The added headache is that whatever we offered would have to be an "as well" feature rather than an "instead", developing a feature for a single manufacturer's top-end cards means also maintaining feature parity for everyone else's hardware.

"Personally I'd like to use it to make the shadows crispier."

There you have it. On the of chance ray tracing does get added to Star Citizen it'll slow down development even more, and the improvements will be slight.

Thanks, DSOG.

Jody Macgregor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was published in 2015, he edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and actually did play every Warhammer videogame.